Maybe next year, maybe never

As I sulked around the house in my old red Jamaal Charles jersey and let that familiar feeling sink in on Sunday night, I couldn’t help but recall a chilling scene from Cormac McCarthy’s instant classic neo-western novel No Country for Old Men and its subsequent Academy Award winning film adaptation, which won Best Picture in 2007. At a gas station counter, Anton Chigurh, a coiffed, psychotic hitman hired to track down hard luck protagonist Llewellyn Moss after he stumbles upon $2 million in cash from a botched drug deal, peers into the storeowner’s soul and asks him a simple question: “What’s the most you’ve ever lost on a coin toss?”


If you’re a supporter of the Kansas City Chiefs, it turns out, plenty. The team—my team, for better and worse—wrapped up its incredible season on a heartbreaking note with an overtime loss to the Stormtroopers, er, Orcs, er, Death Eaters, I mean, New England Patriots! My bad, it’s easy to get those mixed up: I take full responsibility.


Tom Brady got the ball as a result of the oldest 50-50 proposition in the book, marched down the field and then handed it off to ex-Cornhusker (fitting) Rex Burkhead, and the least favorite team of anyone who lives south and west of Connecticut advanced to the Super Bowl for the fifth time in the last six years.


Now, for the fun part: call me Alex Jones or Oliver Stone, but the Patriots—in the grand Boston tradition—have become the JFK assassination of sports with the endless conspiracy fodder they provide for detractors (e.g. me). Like every other NFL rule, roughing the passer is officially now impossible to determine, but Chris Jones’s arm swat on Brady’s shoulder while the ball was live has to be the weakest call in the history of football. An accurate but inexplicable offsides penalty on Dee Ford (which, for the record, had no bearing on the play) cost Kansas City the game in regulation, and Tuck Rule Tom, as he always seems to, got another chance. The fix was in by then. 


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